Wildlife of my City
Our search for a plain wall, for our social project, surprisingly ended at a neighbourhood school in the early days of April 2019. The school we chose was G.V Scheme BMC School. The total area of the wall was around 400 square feet. A few talks with the school principal, the teaching and the administrative ward-officer for our locality, got our project rolling.
We spent a lot of time developing the concept for the wall after judging the area. We wanted the mural to be aesthetically pleasing, relatable and informative for the students studying there. Our inclination toward the natural environment, led us to choosing around 8 species from the city's forest - Sanjay Gandhi National Park, for their depiction on the wall. The school principal suggested we also add illustrations of some students and we couldn't agree less.
The criteria for selection of these species were - variation in form, lesser known species, vibrant colours - to make the mural attractive. We added basic scientific information of these animals next to their illustrations along with their Marathi names (the school's medium of instruction is Marathi).
We painted the following flora and fauna:-
Bamboo Pit Viper Snake
Red Silk Cotton Flower
Crimson Backed Sunbird
Asian Paradise Flycatcher Bird
Small Indian Civet
The AMVDS team spent the initial weeks in refining the illustrations on sketch. We then drew the animals on the wall using chalk. Water-based exterior paints were used for rendering. We used beetle-nut leaves as our palettes to avoid usage of any sort of disposables. A 'community-painting weekend' was announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages to help us with the wall. We were overwhelmed by the responses. There were people from all age-groups and backgrounds. Their determination to paint against the heat of the sun and their will to sacrifice their weekend to help, was indeed inspiring to the AMVDS team. We also had constant encouragement and support of the school principal, Mr. Sable and his staff. Passer-bys who stopped and stared with smiles on our faces were the much needed pat on our backs through the entire period.
The last part of the mural turned out to be the toughest, writing the information using white paint on the rough wall surface. Vaijayanti Ajinkya and Nitya George from the AMVDS Team did a great job at this.
The wall reached completion in the last week of May. The project took us around 14 days to complete, write from conceptualization to execution, using help from our volunteers.
AMVDS Team: Ashvini Menon, Vaijayanti Ajinkya and Nitya George
spacedesign, spatial design, design, stagedesign, stage, amvds, ashvinimenon